China Marks Another Step in Virus Rebound With Singapore Opening
Pedestrians cross a street in Raffles Place in Singapore. (Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg)

China Marks Another Step in Virus Rebound With Singapore Opening

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Singapore will lift border restrictions on visitors from mainland China from Nov. 6, a further reminder that the nation where the coronavirus outbreak first began is firmly on the road to recovery as the pandemic rages elsewhere.

Visitors will have to undergo a coronavirus polymerase chain reaction test upon arrival at Singapore’s Changi Airport, the city-state’s civil aviation authority said in a statement Thursday. If the result is negative, they will be allowed to enter Singapore without having to serve a stay-home notice.

As the outbreak’s original epicenter, China was the first to be subject to travel curbs on its residents as countries from the U.S. to Australia barred them from entering. Since bringing the outbreak in Wuhan and beyond under control in March, barring a few minor flareups, China has pursued a strategy of eliminating the virus. Frontline workers are tested regularly and when cases -- many of them asymptomatic -- are found, mass testing is immediately rolled out.

New cases in China have remained below 100 a day since mid-August, with travelers into the country subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Masks and temperature checks are generally still required in public places.

Singapore and China agreed in May to create a fast lane for essential business and official travel, which initially applied to six Chinese provinces and municipalities. Earlier this month, Singapore and Hong Kong said they planned to allow people to travel between the two financial hubs without the need for quarantine, which would be replaced by coronavirus testing. No final date has been set for that yet.

The easing of restrictions on Chinese visitors also applies to Australia’s Victoria state, which suffered that country’s worst outbreak and subsequent harshest lockdown. Both mainland China and Victoria “have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and displayed successful control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Singapore’s aviation authority said Thursday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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